Niagara Children Photographer~ Sebb and Big Brother Mason


Today was a fun day in studio, Mason & Sebb have both been coming to the studio since before they were born. Asta and Shane have been apart of my family plans for just over 2 years now and boy do we have some amazing family portraits from this family!

Sebb was in studio for hi “6 month” old photos this week and for some reason for the past few studio session his big brother Mason has always been nervous coming to the studio, But this time was different! Mason was running in front of the camera and had a great time, one of the main reasons I have created the family portraits that give the families a chance to work with the same person and get to know that person so they are not a stranger every time and have to start from scratch making photography stressful for both the kids and the parents.

Here are a few from the session!

Some time the best family portraits are the real life portraits we capture :)

Niagara Children Photography

Pre Long Slow Distant Ride Fuel

Me finishing my first race in 6 years.Just 3 months post surgery photo courtesy of lakeshore photography.

Me finishing my first race in 6 years and Just 3 months post surgery. photo courtesy of lakeshore photography.

One thing I have learned from my new life style and eating habits before my workout or long rides is to fuel your body properly, today is my day for a long ride 2.5 hours in the saddle means eating before hand properly to help fuel my body for the next hour. I have found the smoothie the best way to get this fuel as it doesn’t leave me feeling heavy or full. Here is the breakdown that I have used to make sure my body has the proper fuel to keep going.

1-2 hours before my ride I will make a smoothie I found that has a high amount of useful carbs, some fiber and some protein to help repair the muscles and keep me somewhat “full” longer than just carbs will.

Base ingredients:

1 cup frozen or fresh berries
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup plain yogurt (can be dairy or soy) I used greek
1 Tbsp organic honey
water/ice as needed for consistency
(280 calories, 50 grams carbs, 5 gm fiber, 8 gm protein)

Depending on your body weight and the length of ride determines the amount of carbs you should take in. I need to take in approx 104 grams of carbs for the ride I am doing today, so I have chosen to add two bananas and another 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal to my smoothie to add the additional carbs I will need for the ride.

Key to this is to blend it well but not ad to much air to the mix as it simply takes up room in your stomach. I find this keeps me going for a long time while in the saddle.

Hope you enjoy the day it is going to be a really nice one for sure!

Personal Journey Month 4

It is hard to believe that it has been only 4 months since I had a life changing Bariatric Surgery. Over the past few months a lot has changed in my life, started with the surgery, but that has been fueled by life changes as well.

This is an outfit I said to Jenny that I will never wear in public in April when she gave it to me. This is the outfit I ride in each day.


Has this been easy?

Nope, it takes time to get into a routine, I have now surpassed the time and the routine is for ever changing.

Has it been fun?

For sure, I have had a great support with my family, friends, and strangers. People have sent me stories and are asking me questions about my change.

What can I eat? I can eat pretty much anything if I wanted to, this procedure is a small part of the bigger picture. It has taught me to make the smarter choice, since I can only eat about a cup to a cup and a half of food each meal selection is key. 80% protein and the rest good carbs and veggies, sugar has been reduced huge (I will talk more about this in my next post) and fat content is under about 10 grams of fat per serving.

How do I feel?

I have my bad days but energy levels and my feet that used to hurt daily no longer hurt and my energy is not endless but tonight I played in the backyard with the kids, and this past weekend swam for 2.5 hours, so yeah I feel different.

These are just some of the questions I get asked, today my dad made a comment as I was walking out of a store that he didn’t recognize me, these are the comments I keep tucked away for a not so good day.

Exercise has been something that has Reactivated my lifestyle, Jenny Brown of Reactivated Training has been a huge supporter and help in this change. Training both on and off the bike has helped me a whole bunch and just yesterday I had my best ride to date overcoming some fears and mental limits I had put on myself in the past two months of riding. It was the perfect ride!

Here is some images not before and afters because the after is still far off. Thanks for taking the time to read and follow my blog, it means a lot to me when people are talking to my parents and tell them they are inspired to do something or people I haven’t seen in a while come up to me and say great job.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.



Niagara Photographer, Personal Journey Update

Personal Journey Update
By Joel Smith

The new training workout set forth by REACTIVATED! Training started today Last month was a rehab workout to get the body used to doing exercise once again it is a huge change and for sure a good one! The Visualization technique is something I used a lot while in the middle of a hard accent like hydro hill this is something that I have also applied to the squat portion of my workout routine, it helps you power through and helps the mind not allow the pain sense to make you give up!
In only a few days it will already be 3 months since I had my gastric bypass surgery at St Joe’s in Hamilton, Ontario. I have to say it has been amazing so far, some minor bumps in the road but only because in this job we work long days every once and a while. Two 12 hour + days back to back is not good to do within the first 2 months of surgery, even though I prepared for the days with cooking ahead of time and packing snacks and lunch each day it still caused some issues and took me a couple days to recover from it.

This past Sunday marks 2 weeks to the The Giant Bicycles ’29er” Lake to Lake Mountain Bike Event that takes place on Father’s day I am very much looking forward to riding it as one of my first major fitness goals I made back just over a month ago with Jenny Brown from Reactivated training. Jenny has been a great support to have through this whole process and today she came to change up my training regiment to prepare for the race, Taking my training from a good workout to an amazing workout that includes thing like 5 mins straight of ball squats, leg raises while planking and the addition of weighted crunches can for sure be felt tonight. A huge thanks to Jenny and be sure to check out and like her Reactivated Training page on Facebook.

The best change is the one you continue.

joel smith photography

Niagara Family Photographer

Niagara Family Photographer ~ Contest winner

Niagara Family Photographer ~ Contest winner

by: Joel Smith Photography
It has been a pleasure making images and I truly love being a Niagara family photographer for the past 18 years. Well I am humbled by the announcement this morning of winning a contest that Picture Perfect Props By Mich had running for photographers only.

This image is part of a series for this family as Kristy-Lynn is a baker and has three little ones. It is not everyday you have a client that allows you to come in and trash the kitchen like this, let alone another time since this image was made, which features Kristy-Lynn with her baby bump and Dan her husband and both the girls. It has been a pleasure making images and I truly love being a Niagara family photographer for the past 18 years. Thank you to everyone that has made this happen. Be sure to like our facebook page to keep up with what is going on in the studio. Lots of exciting things to come in the next few months!

Enjoy your Wednesday everyone, for most it is the down slope of the week!

Niagara Family Photographer

Thank you to everyone that has made this happen.

Niagara Family photographer

Enjoy this Niagara Family photography provided by Joel Smith Photography offering Niagara Family photography in the Niagara area.

Joel Smith Photography is anything but your average Niagara Family photographer. Each family is treated with care and creativity not found with other Niagara Family photography studios. Your family session is carefully crafted to offer one of a kind unique photography in the Niagara area.

This is Niagara Family photography at its best. Joel Smith Photography is an award winning photographer based in the Niagara area. Offering family coverage of any size in St. Catharines, Burlington, Mississauga and destinations worldwide, this family photography studio is one of the top studios in the country and is located right here in the Niagara area.

Service Information

Joel Smith Photography offers Niagara Family photography coverage in the Niagara area, including but not limited to, St. Catharines and the surrounding areas. In addition, we also offer family photography coverage in Hamilton and Toronto. Call for more information.

Location Information

We are located conveniently in the heart of the beautiful Niagara Region in St Catharines, Ontario where I have called home for 38 years and 18 as a Niagara Family Photogapher.

joel smith photography

2 months already

Well it has been two months already, the personal journey I am on has been amazing to date so far and keeps getting better everyday. The past few weeks has seen the start of a strength and cardio routine that is helping with gaining some strength back as well as help with the weight loss. Jenny Brown from Reactivated training has been a huge help in getting the process started once again. Since 2010 I have been working with Jenny off and on, well more off than on really, so this year we have made a bot more of a commitment to my journey. In years past I have started but always given up, this year is different, since my entire lifestyle has changed one of the major goals is to get back on my bike and hitting the trails, well Last week marked the first time in over 5 years I hit the trails, man what a great feeling for sure. Nothing more freeing than time in the woods quiet and shutting off your day-to-day thinking to focus on something I have missed a great deal.

One of the goals I set for this year was to ride the Lake to Lake race, a 29km ride from Brock to Port here in the Niagara Region, this race takes place on June 16th and makes it way through the beautiful Niagara escarpment. Starting at the bottom of hydro hill this 600 meter long road is the thorn in a lot of riders side when it comes to riding in Niagara. having not rode it in so many years I thought I would give it a spin last week, well I did it on the first go around, from the bottom to the top I made it, such an amazing feeling the last few cranks of the peddles to finish off that hill. Focus your mind at the task at hand and it becomes easier to do.

Riding the trails is so much fun and last week Jenny and I hit the trails for the first time together. Nervous as this was my first trail ride of the year let alone with a Pro rider behind me and to top it off I asked her to bring along her go pro. Be sure to check out the video of my ride at the 2:47 min mark is one feet that I will never forget, the feeling of trying again is just amazing when you can do something you set you mind to.

We wanted a starting point and both agreed that this is a good way, I have been very open in the journey I am on and it just feels good to share this journey with who ever will listen.

Here is the starting point as of April 30, 2013. This is the first full length photo I have allowed to be taken for years.

10 th Annual DSBn Road Race

10 th Annual DSBn Road Race